International regulations pertaining to ships engaged in the safe carriage of liquefied gases in bulk are covered by IMO Resolution MSC.370(93) Amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code).
The IGC Code has been incorporated along with ABS requirements into Part 5C, Chapter 8 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Marine Vessels (Marine Vessel Rules).
Hydrogen is not included among the list of products with specified minimum requirements in Chapter 19 of the IGC Code.
Instead, hydrogen is subject to the requirements of paragraph 22.214.171.124 of the IGC Code:
Where it is proposed to carry products that may be considered to come within the scope of this Code that are not at present designated in chapter 19, the Administration and the port Administrations involved in such carriage shall establish a Tripartite Agreement based on a provisional assessment and lay down preliminary suitable conditions of carriage based on the principles of the Code.
The IMO also adopted Resolution MSC.420(97) Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk on 25 November 2016.
The Interim Recommendations contain provisional recommendations for the carriage of liquefied hydrogen which are intended to lay the groundwork for future minimum or special requirements for the carriage of liquefied hydrogen, as per the process outlined in Paragraph 5 of the preamble of the IGC Code.
The Interim Recommendations were developed with the assumption that liquefied hydrogen carriers will not be used to carry other cargos, and thus the recommendations are not applicable to vessels engaged in such practices.
These Requirements are based on the special requirements provided by IMO Resolution MSC.420(97) Interim Recommendations for Carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen in Bulk.
These Requirements are to be applied to both new construction and existing vessel conversions, regardless of size, engaged in the carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk.
The Requirements contained herein provide Classification criteria for the arrangements, construction, installation and survey of machinery, equipment and systems for vessels engaged in the carriage of liquefied hydrogen in order to minimize risks to the vessel, crew and environment.
These Requirements specify the unique requirements applicable to vessels carrying liquefied hydrogen, and are always to be used in association with the IGC Code, as incorporated in Part 5C, Chapter 8 of the Marine Vessel Rules, and with other relevant Sections of the Marine Vessel Rules.
Vessels intended to carry liquefied hydrogen as cargo are to comply with Part 5C, Chapter 8 of the Marine Vessel Rules in its entirety, except as modified herein.
The goals and functional requirements in the cross-referenced Rules and Regulations are also to be applied.
Liquefied gas tank barges intending to carry liquefied hydrogen cargo will be specially considered on a case-by-case basis.
Refer to the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Barges for more information.
Vessels intending to use hydrogen cargo as fuel will also be specially considered on a case-by-case basis.
Refer to the ABS Requirements for Hydrogen Fueled Vessels for more information.
In accordance with 1-1-3/3 of the ABS Rules for Conditions of Classification, the mandatory notation Liquefied Hydrogen Carrier is to be assigned to a liquefied gas carriers designed to carry liquefied hydrogen and built to the requirements of this document and other relevant sections of the Marine Vessel Rules.
See 5C-8-1/1 of the Marine Vessel Rules for more information on other ABS notations for vessels built in accordance with the IGC Code.
ABS design review, survey, testing, and the issuance of reports or certificates constitute the certification of machinery, materials, equipment and systems.
Refer to Section 4-1-1 of the Marine Vessel Rules for more information.
Requirements for certification are to take into consideration the specific properties of hydrogen, as described in Section 1/7 of this document.
Because the temperature of liquefied hydrogen is -253°C, the cargo containment system, auxiliary systems and piping may operate at conditions outside of standard certification parameters and may require additional provisions for certification.
Flag Administration Approval
Where these Requirements are considered to be used to comply with the IGC Code, such application is subject to approval by the vessel’s Flag Administration prior to issuance of relevant statutory certificates.
This document was published on 1 October 2023 and became effective on the same date.